UCSF’s Jennifer Yokoyama Interviewed about ALS Research Study

Earlier this month, a published study from UC San Francisco found genetic similarities between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

Jennifer Yokoyama, PhD, assistant professor of neurology at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, discussed the study in a live radio interview on KCBS, an all-news station in San Francisco, available to stream below.

Listen here: UCSF’s Jennifer Yokoyama Interviewed by KCBS Radio

The study was co-led by Rahul Desikan, MD, PhD, an assistant professor with the UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging. Prior to this research study, Dr. Yokoyama and others had observed an overlap between ALS and FTD—both neurodegenerative diseases. But, as she says in the interview, the genetic background was not clear. The study found two genetic variants that may be linking these diseases across “sporadic” (as opposed to “familial”) forms of both ALS and FTD.

“This is very exciting for us because it suggests that there may actually be some shared biological pathways that we could potentially think about as ways for treating both diseases,” says Dr. Yokoyama.

Concerning treatment for neurodegenerative diseases, the field is definitely still open. Large genetic studies such as this one can illuminate how subtly different neurodegenerative processes arise in association with different mutations, including genetic variations that differ only slightly from one another.

Read more on this study from UCSF.

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